Arthur Kaluma

44 Prospects Invited To G League Elite Camp

Forty-four prospects for the 2024 NBA draft were invited to the NBA’s G League Elite Camp, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter link).

The list of players is as follows:

The field of draft prospects scrimmage for two days in Chicago starting on May 11 ahead of the NBA’s annual draft combine. If players perform well enough, they’re often promoted to the larger combine immediately following the G League Elite Camp. Typically, at least a half dozen players move on.

While the combine usually focuses on the top-ranked players in each draft class, the G League Elite Camp offers opportunity to prospects further down boards who are more likely to go undrafted. Of the 44 names invited to the G League Elite Camp, only 16 rank among ESPN’s top 100 prospects. No prospect ranks higher than No. 48 (Onyenso) on ESPN’s board.

Nine of ESPN’s top 100 prospects have not been invited to Chicago for either event: Armel Traore (France), Zacharie Perrin (France), Andrija Jelavic (Croatia), Yannick Kraag (Netherlands), Tre Mitchell (Kentucky), Ilias Kamardine (France), Dylan Disu (Texas), Riley Minix (Morehead State) and Jonas Aidoo (Tennessee). According to Givony (Twitter link), the NBA might not announce the official list until Monday, so there’s a chance it’s amended.

The G League Elite Camp will give invitees who declared for the draft as early entrants an opportunity to see where they stand ahead of the draft withdrawal deadline on May 29. Not all of the players who participate in this event will remain in the draft pool.

Last year, future NBA players like Hornets forward Leaky Black, Pistons forward Tosan Evbuomwan, Mavericks forward Alex Fudge, Celtics guard Drew Peterson and Nets guard Jaylen Martin all participated in the event. Other recent notable alums of the event include Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado and Clippers guard Terance Mann.

Izan Almansa, Jaxson Robinson Among Draft’s Latest Early Entrants

Izan Almansa, a 6’10” Spanish power forward, has announced on Instagram that he’s declaring for the 2024 NBA draft. Almansa came stateside in 2021 and spent two years with the Overtime Elite program before joining the G League Ignite for 2023/24.

Almansa appeared in 48 total Showcase Cup and regular season games for the Ignite, averaging 10.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 27.3 minutes per contest. He made 54.3% of his shots from the floor, but only attempted 35 three-pointers all season (he made seven) and hit just 54.0% of his free throws.

Viewed by Sam Vecenie of The Athletic last August as a potential lottery pick, Almansa has fallen all the way to No. 52 on Vecenie’s latest big board for 2024. ESPN’s draft experts are a little higher on the 18-year-old, placing him at No. 37 on their top-100 list.

Here are a few more early entrants who have recently declared for the NBA draft:

  • BYU senior wing Jaxson Robinson is entering the 2024 draft, he announced on Twitter. Robinson, who played for Texas A&M and Arkansas earlier in his college career, enjoyed a breakout season in 2023/24, averaging 14.2 points per game on .426/.354/.908 shooting. The No. 55 prospect on ESPN’s board, he was named the Big 12’s Sixth Man of the Year after starting just six of 33 games.
  • Illinois senior forward Coleman Hawkins, the No. 86 prospect on ESPN’s top-100 list, revealed on Twitter that he’s entering the NBA draft and suggested within his announcement he plans to forgo his final year of NCAA eligibility. Hawkins, who also declared for the draft a year ago before withdrawing, has been a full-time starter for the Fighting Illini for the past two seasons. He put up 12.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.7 APG, and 1.5 SPG with a .369 3PT% in 2023/24.
  • Kansas State junior forward Arthur Kaluma has announced on Instagram that he’s entering the 2024 draft. Kaluma averaged 14.4 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 2.0 APG with a shooting line of .427/.345/.747 in his first season with the Wildcats after two years at Creighton. He first tested the draft waters in 2023.
  • French forward Mohamed Diawara, who has spent the past few seasons under contract with Paris Basketball and will turn 19 next Monday, has declared for the draft, according to agent Olivier Mazet (Twitter link).

Draft Notes: Henderson, Sheppard, Wizards, Hornets, Magic, Warriors

With Scoot Henderson ranked second or third in nearly every mock draft, the G League Ignite star only plans two workouts during the pre-draft process, tweets Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report.

Henderson was in Portland on Saturday to show off the skills that have made him one of the most talked-about prospects in this year’s class. The Trail Blazers hold the third pick and appear to be the most likely destination for Henderson if speculation about Brandon Miller going to Charlotte at No. 2 is correct. There’s been plenty of conjecture that Portland may trade the pick for veteran help, but some sources believe the team would be comfortable adding another young player.

Henderson hasn’t scheduled a session with the Hornets yet, but he told Casey Holdahl of NBA.com that he expects to work out for them at some point before the June 22 draft. He also talked about what he’ll bring to the team that selects him.

“You always want a guy like me, that dog mentality,” Henderson said. “Just my personality, the culture I bring to the locker room. I’m a great leader, I’ll tell what’s up and I can do everything on the floor. I can do everything on the floor. I’m going to go out there and give my 110 percent every day. And that’s the thing about me: I’m very consistent in effort. Even if it’s not there, I just try to even it out the next game, try to get right to it. Give it a 120 if I didn’t give it 110 the last game.”

There’s more draft news to pass along:

Pre-Draft Workouts: Whitmore, Pacers, Hornets, Lakers, More

The Pacers will host Cam Whitmore for an individual workout on Thursday, according to Wheat Hotchkiss of NBA.com. The Villanova forward is part of a group of prospects that are expected to come off the board shortly after the top three of Victor Wembanyama, Brandon Miller and Scoot Henderson. Indiana holds the No. 7 pick in this year’s draft.

The Pacers welcomed Johnell Davis of Florida Atlantic, Adam Flagler of Baylor, Armaan Franklin of Virginia, Nate Laszewski of Notre Dame, Leonard Miller of G League Ignite and Isaiah Wong of Miami to a pre-draft workout on Wednesday, tweets Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Davis has since decided to pull out of the draft and return to school.

We have a few more updates on draft workouts:

Draft Decisions: Tshiebwe, Phillips, Brown, More

In one of this year’s most anticipated decisions, Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe announced that he will keep his name in the NBA draft pool, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium.

Tshiebwe was selected as the national player of the year in 2022 after averaging 17.4 points and 15.1 rebounds per game as a junior, and he was an All-American again this season with 16.5 PPG and 13.7 RPG. Despite his lofty college status, Tshiebwe isn’t a sure thing to get drafted, ranking 75th on ESPN’s big board.

“What makes me decide what I’m going to do today is not about me,” Tshiebwe said in his press conference, per Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. “Most of the time I pray and I follow the discernment of God. It’s just I am following what God has put in place, because the decision, if you feel peace and joy and happiness in your heart, that’s what you’ve got to go with.”

A few more high-profile players have decided to remain in the draft ahead of the 11:59 pm EDT deadline to withdraw and retain their NCAA eligibility. Among them are Tennessee’s Julian Phillips, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). The freshman small forward has gotten positive feedback from NBA teams during the pre-draft process, Givony adds. Phillips, 19, is listed at 34th on ESPN’s rankings, making him a potential late first-round pick.

Also staying in the draft is Kobe Brown of Missouri, tweets Matt Norlander of CBS Sports. Norlander considers the senior power forward a possible second-round pick, and ESPN has him listed at No. 46.

Baylor’s Adam Flagler, who has one year of eligibility remaining, has decided to remain in the draft as well, Goodman tweets. The shooting guard is listed as No. 80 by ESPN.

Among those deciding to withdraw from the draft, today’s most significant decisions involved Florida Atlantic guards Johnell Davis and Alijah Martin, who helped the Owls reach the Final Four in March, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. He projects that their return will make FAU a preseason top-five team for next season.

According to Woj, Martin worked out for the Mavericks, Celtics, Bulls and Clippers, while Davis had sessions with the Celtics, Kings, Bucks, Jazz, Sixers and Pacers.

Here are a few more early entrants who have decided to return to school:

Central Notes: Pacers, Pistons, Duren, Cavs

Indiana will be hosting six prospects on Friday for the team’s first pre-draft workout, the Pacers announced in a press release.

The six players are UConn’s Andre Jackson, UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez, Missouri’s Kobe Brown, Creighton’s Arthur Kaluma, North Dakota State’s Grant Nelson, and Liutauras Lelevicius, a Lithuanian prospect who played for Zalgris II this past season.

Jackson (30), Jaquez (32), Brown (43), Kaluma (90), and Nelson (94) all appear on ESPN’s top-100 prospects list, while Lelevicius is unranked. The Pacers control their own lottery pick, two late first-rounders (26th and 29th), and two second-round picks (either 50th or 32nd, plus 55th).

Here’s more from the Central:

  • Hiring the right head coach, having a successful draft, and acquiring forward depth in free agency are among the top offseason priorities for the Pistons, according to Mike Curtis of The Detroit News (subscriber link), who thinks the team should pursue Nets restricted free agent Cameron Johnson.
  • Pistons center Jalen Duren, who was recently named to the All-Rookie Second Team, was mostly pleased with his debut season, but he’s going to work on his conditioning and consistency in year two, Curtis writes in another subscriber-only story. “Consistency is a huge word,” Duren said. “To be great, you have to be consistent. For me, it’s honestly just being locked in and trying to understand what’s going on. ‘Being where my feet are,’ I like to say, and try to take over games, dominate games and affect games in any way possible. … I feel like that will come. I’m excited about what I can be in this league.”
  • Josh Richardson, Kelly Oubre, Max Strus, Gary Trent Jr. and Jalen McDaniels could be the types of wings the Cavaliers choose to go after in free agency with their mid-level exception, Kelsey Russo states in a mailbag for The Athletic. I don’t see Trent falling to that price point, especially since he could just opt in to his $18.8MM player option if he isn’t confident about getting a better payday, but the other four might be attainable (whether or not they’d be a good fit is another story).

Draft Notes: Tshiebwe, Kings, Powell, Domask, Kaluma

The Kings hosted a pre-draft workout on Wednesday featuring six prospects, including Kentucky big man Oscar Tshiebwe, a league source tells James Ham of TheKingsBeat.com (Twitter link). The other five players aren’t yet known.

Tshiebwe was named AP Player of the Year in 2021/22 for the Wildcats and followed that up with a spot on the All-America Second Team in ’22/23 after averaging 16.5 points, 13.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.0 block in 32 games (33.6 minutes). He is expected to attend the draft combine next week.

Sacramento controls the 24th, 38th (or 37th, if Washington picks ahead of Indiana in the lottery) and 54th picks in the 2023 NBA draft. Tshiebwe is currently ranked No. 66 on ESPN’s big board as he tests the draft waters while maintaining his final year of college eligibility.

Here are a few more draft-related notes:

  • Junior guard Justin Powell, who has played for three college teams – most recently Washington State this past season – has worked out for the Warriors, Celtics, Jazz and Mavericks, reports Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (via Twitter). Powell has converted an impressive 41.9% of his three-point looks during his college career. Like Tshiebwe, he’s testing the draft waters.
  • Forward Marcus Domask has withdrawn from the draft, he tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). After a standout four-year career at Southern Illinois, Domask will be transferring to Illinois for his fifth and final season, per Rothstein.
  • Creighton sophomore Arthur Kaluma, another combine invitee, is focused on staying in the draft, but he plans to transfer if he returns to college for his junior year, a source tells John Fanta of Fox Sports (Twitter links). Kaluma confirmed the news. “I am thankful for the chance to participate in the draft process and showcase my skills in front of various NBA teams,” Kaluma said, per Fanta. “After taking part in the NBA Combine and my agency’s Pro Day, I will discuss the feedback I’ve received with my family and advisors. Ultimately, I will decide whether to remain in the Draft or return to college based on what’s best for my career long-term. I want to express my gratitude to Coach McDermott and the entire Creighton community for two amazing years in Omaha.” The forward is currently No. 90 on ESPN’s board.

NBA Reveals Players Expected At 2023 Draft Combine

The NBA has announced 78 players that are expected to attend this year’s draft combine, scheduled for May 15-21 at in Chicago, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets.

Additionally, a select number of standout players from the G League Elite Camp, which takes place May 13-14 in Chicago, will be invited to participate in the combine.

Players will have interviews with NBA teams and participate in five-on-five scrimmages, as well as shooting, strength and agility drills. Some top prospects opt out of the scrimmages.

Victor Wembanyama, the projected top pick, is not on the list. His French League season is still ongoing.

The list of invitees is as follows:

Draft Notes: Bates, Early Entrants, NTX Combine

Eastern Michigan’s Emoni Bates, the nation’s top high school recruit in 2021, has decided to enter the NBA draft, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

“What I been dreaming for my whole life,” Bates wrote on his Instagram account this morning.

The 19-year-old swingman spent his first collegiate season at Memphis before transferring to the Eagles last summer. He averaged 19.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 30 games as a sophomore while shooting 40.5% from the field and 33% from three-point range.

Bates has slipped to 56th on ESPN’s latest big board of the top 100 draft prospects, so he’s not a sure thing to be selected. EMU is coming off an 8-23 season, and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony speculated last month that Bates might have hurt his draft stock by staying in school.

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Kansas State’s Keyontae Johnson (Twitter link), Missouri’s Kobe Brown (Instagram link), and Baylor’s Jalen Bridges (Twitter link) have all declared for the draft while retaining their college eligibility. Johnson ranks 40th on ESPN’s big board, while Brown is 43rd and Bridges is 69th. The deadline to withdraw from the draft and still be eligible to play in college next season is May 31 at 11:59 pm ET.
  • Creighton’s Arthur Kaluma announced on his Twitter page that he’ll be entering the draft, making no mention of possibly returning to college. The sophomore power forward is 90th in ESPN’s rankings.
  • Serbia’s Mihailo Boskovic has also put his name in the draft, according to Misko Raznatovic (Twitter link).
  • The NTX Combine expects to host 32 draft prospects from May 2-4 with representatives of more than 20 NBA team in attendance, tweets Marc J. Spears of Andscape. He notes that past participants have landed Exhibit 10, summer league and G League contracts. Former NBA players Maurice Evans, Mike James and Shawn Respert will be among the coaches at the combine.